Season: 2-3, Episodes: 21, Faction: Survivors
Eko, also known as Mr. Eko (also referred to as Father Tunde, although this may be an alias), was a notorious war lord and drug smuggler in Nigeria and was one of the tail section survivors of Oceanic Flight 815.
Before the crash, Eko was attempting to smuggle drugs out of Nigeria by pretending to be a priest. His brother Yemi, a real priest, tried to stop him, but was accidentally killed and thrown onto the drug smuggling plane. Eko was left behind, where he decided to take his brother’s place in the church, protecting it and the village from drug lords.
After the crash, Eko and the rest of the tail section survivors were attacked by the Others, where he fought his kidnappers and killed two of them. After this he took a vow of silence for 40 days and started carrying a stick with him into which he carved Bible verses. When Michael, Jin, and Sawyer washed up on shore, Eko kept them prisoner until they decided their story was true, after which they all trekked across the Island to the middle section survivors camp. He later found the Beechcraft his brother’s body had been on and burned the plane in respect. After he and Locke found the Pearl station, Eko was convinced it was important to push the button in the Swan. When Locke lost his faith and kept Eko from pushing the button, it caused the implosion of the Swan. Eko survived the incident, but was dragged unconscious into a cave by a polar bear and was later saved by Locke. While recovering from his injuries, he was visited by a vision of Yemi, who told him to confess his sins. Eko claimed he had not sinned, but done what he had to do, after which he was confronted and killed by the Monster. Three years later, Hurley saw a vision of Eko and played chess with him at the Santa Rosa Mental Institute.
2×10 – The 23rd Psalm
As a child, Eko was very close to his brother Yemi, even stealing food for him. However, he was caught by a nun and was forced to “confess his sins.” Eko and Yemi were separated when Eko shot an unarmed man at the behest of unidentified Nigerian guerrilla members. He did this to spare his brother from having to do so. As a result, Eko was recruited into the guerrilla group instead. (“The 23rd Psalm”)
3×05 – The Cost of Living
When asked his name, he responded “Eko.” One of the militia members then referred to him as “Mr. Eko,” a nickname which stuck. (“The Cost of Living”)
As a Crime Lord
2×10 – The 23rd Psalm
Years later, Eko became a leader of a criminal organization. Mr. Eko’s business included drug running (something he rationalizes by moving them primarily out of the country, so the drugs were not used by Nigerians). He came across a large supply of heroin, which he wanted to get out of the country. In the process, he killed two Moroccan drug dealers. Eko realized that the best way to smuggle out the heroin is to take advantage of special laws for UN aid groups or missionaries and priests. Eko returned to his old village, where Yemi was then a priest. Eko asked his brother to help him smuggle the drugs out of the country, making use of the Virgin Mary statues that Yemi’s church was selling. Yemi refused. Eko returned a second time, this time with a threat. He asked Yemi to sign papers that would make Eko and his partners Goldie and Olu appear to be priests, or have Eko’s men burn the church to the ground. Yemi reconsidered and agreed to sign the papers.
When the shipment was prepared, Eko and his men assembled at an airstrip, dressed as priests, and began to load a Beechcraft with the statues, which contained the heroin. Yemi came to the airstrip to urge Eko to call off the mission, but the Nigerian Army, alerted by Yemi, arrived to stop Eko. During the crossfire between the military and Eko’s men, Yemi was shot. Goldie helped drag Yemi onto the plane; however, he kicked Eko off the plane and back onto the runway, so Eko was left behind. When addressed as a priest by the soldiers, he pretended to be just that. (“The 23rd Psalm”)
As Father Tunde
3×05 – The Cost of Living
Eko was taken back to the village and dropped off at his church. Going inside, he found Yemi’s Bible, left in the confession box, which held a photo of him and Eko as children inside. A few moments later, Amina showed up with her son Daniel and asked where Yemi is. Eko informed them that Yemi had been called away on urgent business to a village to the south and that he would be replacing him. Amina commented that Yemi was to be leaving for a church in London a few days later, to which Eko replied that he would take over there as well. Later, while he was preparing for a service, Eko heard gunfire outside and rushed out. There he met a militia leader named Emeka, who told him that he had a deal with Yemi regarding the village’s semi-annual shipment of vaccinations, wherein he would get 80% and the village would keep the remainder. Eko informed him that he was not afraid of him, so Emeka shot a bystander.
When Eko asked about the deal, he was told by Amina that the vaccines sell for a high price on the black market. Eko then met with a black market dealer in an attempt to sell the vaccines to benefit only himself. When Emeka arrived at the church with his bodyguards having heard of what Eko planned to do, he threatened to cut off Eko’s hands for stealing. Eko attacked and killed the three of them, striking down Emeka as he begged for mercy. The villagers boarded up the church as it was no longer sacred and Amina told Eko to start fresh in London, adding ominously that, one day, he would pay for his sins.
Daniel asked Eko if he was a bad man after he killed the extortionists, and Eko did not respond until his confrontation with the Monster. (“The Cost of Living”)
2×22 – Three Minutes
After leaving Nigeria, Eko worked in a parish in England for a brief period. He told Michael that every Sunday, after mass, a small boy waited at the back of the parish. The boy approached him one day, and confessed that he had beaten his dog to death with a shovel because the dog had bitten his baby sister on the cheek. The boy was worried that he would go to hell for this action. Mr. Eko told the young boy that God would understand that he was just protecting his sister, and would forgive him. The boy then said he was not concerned about forgiveness, only that the dog would be waiting for him if he ever went to hell. (“Three Minutes”)
2×21 – ?
At some later point in time, Eko (known as “Father Tunde”) served as a priest in an Australian church. He took confession from a man who has actually arrived to provide a passport (listing his name as Oduduwa Ulu with a date of issue of April 16, 2004) so Eko could travel to Los Angeles. He was asked by a senior priest to investigate a reported miracle, the apparent resurrection of a young woman who drowned the day before.
Eko visited the undertaker, who played him the tape of his autopsy procedure. He later visited the home of the woman, Charlotte Malkin, and encountered her father, Richard Malkin, who sought to explain away the “miracle” as a cover-up of the undertaker’s incompetence. Richard was the psychic who told Claire to go on the plane, though he admitted to Eko that he was a fraud.
At the airport in Sydney, prior to boarding Oceanic Flight 815, Eko encountered Charlotte, who agitated him by saying that she saw his brother, Yemi, when she was “between places,” asking her to tell Eko to have faith. (“?”)
On the Island (Days 1-43)
2×07 – The Other 48 Days
Mr. Eko survived the tail-section crash, and he helped a woman and carried Zach back to the shore. Eko then asked Cindy to look after the kids while he took the dead bodies out of the water. Later, a man named Bernard introduced himself and asked Eko if he had found an African-American body amongst those he fished out of the water, to which Eko replies that he didn’t, and that he will pray as for their rescue as well.
The Others attacked the first night, and he was a target. Three people were taken, but Eko killed both of his attackers with a rock. Beginning then, Eko took a vow of silence. A few nights later, Libby told Eko that it was self-defense and not his fault, though he seemed unaffected by her saying so.
During his second week on the Island, The Others came in the night again. This time they didn’t attack Eko, but they did take the children that Eko had helped save during the plane crash.
The group of survivors made their way into the jungle, camping in various places for days at a time. On Day 24, the group came upon an old DHARMA Initiative station called The Arrow; it was a medical station. Eko found a Bible, inside of which was hidden a film strip. (“The Other 48 Days”) (“What Kate Did”).
On Day 41, Bernard picked up Boone’s transmission from the Beechcraft, but Ana Lucia turned it off because she assumed it was the Others trying to trick them. She got upset and left The Arrow quickly. Eko followed her to a stream, where he came upon her crying. He approached her and, speaking for the first time in forty days, told her everything would be alright. Ana Lucia asked why he had waited forty days to talk, and in reply he asked her why she had taken forty days to cry. (“The Other 48 Days”)
2×02 – Adrift | 2×07 – The Other 48 Days
One morning a few days later, a person washed ashore and was found by Cindy and Libby. They tied him up, and the group began to argue about what to do with him. Suddenly, the man broke loose and ran up the beach, shouting at two other people who appeared from the water. Eko caught him and knocked him unconscious with his stick. (“Adrift”) (“The Other 48 Days”)
Associated LOST Themes & DHARMA Stations
Decoded Family Members & Associated Characters
Decoded Season 1 Characters
Decoded Season 2 Characters
Decoded Season 3 Characters
Key Episode(s) to Decoding the Character
(Khopri, Khepera) Khepri’s name comes from the Egyptian verb meaning ‘to become’, a word which also yields a noun meaning ‘transformation’ or simply ‘form’. For anything to take on any form whatever is thus to participate in the divine potency of Khepri. Khepri is depicted as a scarab beetle, one of the ubiquitous symbols in Egyptian culture. The actual life-habits of the scarab beetle are less important than the way in which the Egyptians conceived them and drew upon them to create the symbol of Khepri. The Egyptians saw the scarab beetle as rolling a ball of dung, the basest of materials, that which embodied the inert end of every life process and the exhaustion of the object of metabolism. From this dead end, however, a new beginning was fashioned, for the female beetle lays her eggs in this ball, which thus gives the appearance upon their hatching of having fostered spontaneous generation. The ball of dung rolled by the beetle thus becomes identified with the sun, and Khepri with the primordial sunrise at the inception of the cosmos and every day’s sunrise, as well as with all emergence of novelty, spontaneity, and potentiality within that which is inert, its impulse exhausted or which has reached a condition of static perfection or completion and therefore transforms itself in order to continue as a vehicle of life. Khepri thus expresses a fundamental element of the Egyptian worldview, in which no beginning is ever from nothing, but is always really some manner of transformation. Hence Atum‘s position at the beginning of the emergence of the cosmos is functionally identical to the position of the deceased awaiting resurrection. The sun, too, is conceived by Egyptians as Khepri at sunrise, Re at midday, and Atum at sunset, the waning of the day being thus identified with the absolute beginning of the cosmos, insofar as such an absolute, unique or linear beginning to it can be conceived, while the beginning which is ever-present, because it is identical with change itself, has its image in the sunrise. This viewpoint allows the moment of the emergence of the cosmos to be always present in the now, and by extension allows all of the moments of myth and all of the symbols of divinity to be appropriated and used by ritual operators at any time.
In one of the earliest programmatic statements of the Heliopolitan cosmogony, PT utterance 527, it is said that “Atum is he who came into being, who masturbated in Ôn. He took his phallus in his grasp that he might create orgasm by means of it, and so were born the twins Shu and Tefnut.” The first part of the sentence reads Atum kheper pu, in which the use of the verb kheper provides the model for statements like those in utterance 587, “Hail to you, Atum! … May you come into being in this your name of Khepri,” or in utterance 606, “They [the Gods of the Ennead] will bring you [the deceased king] into being like Re in this his name of Khepri,” which also adds a conjugation of Re and Atum: “you will draw near to them [the Ennead] like Re in this his name of Re; you will turn aside from their faces like Re in this his name of Atum.” The characterization of diverse Gods’ names as if they were names of some other God is not to be taken literally, insofar as they are often built on wordplay, but such usages, common in Egyptian religion, do indicate the Egyptian sense of each God as a sufficient totality Him- or Herself as well as one among many.
Khepri is generally depicted in full scarab form, to which often has been added the wings of a hawk, the hawk’s talons usually gripping the looped rope which is the sign for shen, eternity in the form of a closed loop. In PT utterance 624, reference is made to climbing “on the wing of Khepri,” and in CT spell 548 to the “horns of Khepri,” both presumably referring to actual features of the beetle. Reference is made sometimes to the boat (or ‘bark’) of Khepri, which seems at times to be simply a synonym for the boat of Re, but sometimes a particular vehicle, viz. in CT spell 423, for “not dying a second death”: “I will be raised up from the hnhnw-bark to the bark of Khepri, he will let me enter to see what is there, I will recite his words to the judges, and he will let me converse with those four mighty spirits who move to and fro and live after they have died.” In CT spell 261, a spell for becoming Heka, the personification of magic, Heka says that he came forth from the mouth of Atum “when he [Atum] spoke with Khepri … that he [Atum] might be more powerful than he [Khepri],” where Khepri seems to personify change and flux, mastery of which is to be granted through the exercise of magic, heka. Similarly, in CT spell 548, the operator threatens to “bind the horns of Khepri” to prevent being “taken and ferried over to the east” to be slain, i.e. to die again. Here the threat is to arrest change itself.
An amulet in the form of a scarab beetle plays an important role in BD spell 30B, in which it represents the heart of the deceased, not as a physical but as a spiritual entity. The ‘heart’ thus constituted is beseeched in this spell not to bear witness against the deceased in the judgment. In addition to its amuletic functions, the scarab beetle lends its shape to a sort of calling card. Scarab beetles carved in semi-precious stones are inscribed on their undersides with the names and titles of officials or kings, or to commemorate auspicious events such as a royal wedding or jubilee.
Other Names: Kheper, Khepera
Patron of: the sun, creation, life, resurrection.
Appearance: A scarab-headed man, a scarab, and a man wearing a scarab as a crown.
Description: The word kheper means scarab, and as the animal was associated with life and rebirth, so was Khephri. The scarab lays its eggs in a ball of dung and rolls it to hide in a safe place. From this unlikely substance the Egyptians observed new life emerging. Similarly, they believed that Khephri, in the form of a gigantic scarab, rolled the sun like a huge ball through the sky, then rolled it through the underworld to the eastern horizon. Each morning Khephri would renew the sun so that it could give life to all the world.
In Egyptian mythology, Khepri (also spelled Khepera, Kheper, Chepri, Khepra) is the name of a major god. Khepri is associated with the dung beetle (kheper), whose behavior of maintaining spherical balls of dung represents the forces which move the sun. Khepri gradually came to be considered as an embodiment of the sun itself, and therefore was a solar deity. To explain where the sun goes at night, such pushing was extended to the underworld, Khepri’s pushing of the sun being ceaseless.
Since the scarab beetle lays its eggs in the bodies of various dead animals, including other scarabs, and in dung, from which they emerge having been born, the ancient Egyptians believed that scarab beetles were created from dead matter. Because of this, they also associated the Khepri with rebirth, renewal, and resurrection. Indeed, his name means “to come into being”. As a result of this, when the rival cult of the sun-god Ra gained significance, Khepri was identified as the aspect of Ra which constitutes only the dawning sun (i.e the sun when it comes into being).
Subsequently, when Ra and Atum became identified as one another, Khepri, which was Ra’s young form, became conflated with Nefertum, which was Atum’s. This led to a cosmogony where Ra, as Khepri, a beetle, resulted from the Ogdoad’s activities, and emerged from a (blue) lotus flower, only to immediately transform into Nefertum, a youth, who, after growing up, masturbated the Ennead into existence.
Khepri was principally depicted as a whole scarab beetle, though in some tomb paintings and funerary papyri he is represented as a human male with a scarab as a head. He is also depicted as a scarab in a solar barque held aloft by Nun. When represented as a scarab beetle, he was typically depicted pushing the sun across the sky every day, as well as rolling it safely through the Egyptian underworld every night. As an aspect of Ra, he is particularly prevalent in the funerary literature of the New Kingdom, when many Ramesside tombs in the Valley of the Kings were decorated with depictions of Ra as a sun-disc, containing images of Khepri, the dawning sun, and Atum, the setting sun.
Scarab, “Kheper” as transformation
The scarab, Egyptian language (kh)pr is used in many pharaonic names, for example Thutmosis III as Mn-Kheper-Re. Because it is used so frequently in pharaonic names, for example:
Kheperkare Senusret I, Khakheperre Senusret II, Aakheperkare Thutmose I, Aakheperenre Thutmose II, Menkheperre Thutmose III, Aakheperrure Amenhotep II, Menkheperrure Thutmose IV, etc.
its meaning needs to be presented. As the word “transform”, or “transformation”, the phrase Men-(Kh)eper-Re becomes: strong-transforming-Ra, and some renderings in common English are The Transforming Strength (of) Ra, or Ra’s Steadfastness (of) Transformations. A much later word that replaced the kheper, ‘transforming’ was the Greek language “epiphanous”, the word for manifesting. A similar usage, but not with the implications of transformation, as an insect larva, transforming into an adult-form bug. The Ptolemaic era Ptolemy V of the Rosetta Stone, 196 BC is named Ptolemy V Epiphanes. Coins of Greece and other Greek influenced kingdoms had coins using the King’s profile and the word epi(ph)anous, namely basileus epi(ph)anous, (King-Manifested)